South Middle School (SMS) is a rural public school located in Cowan, Tennessee. The Franklin County Board of Education acquired 30 acres of land on U.S. 64 - 41 and began construction of the original building in 1967. The building was completed in 1968 and originally named South Junior High. The athletic teams were given the name "Trojans;" the Trojan head was chosen as the school symbol, and school colors were Kelly green and gold.
An asbestos abatement and renovation was finished in August of 1993.
In 1996, South Junior High was renamed to J.D. Jackson Junior High. J.D. Jackson was a man who contributed many years to the service of the school board and to Franklin County Schools. Mr. Jackson grew up in Franklin County, worked for L&N Railroad, and served on the County Court when sites were chosen for both middle schools.
In the 2004-2005 school year, our school became a middle school serving only seventh and eighth-grade students as the ninth grade students were moved to the newly constructed Franklin County High School. At that time the school was renamed South Middle School and in the 2006-2007 school year, the sixth grade was added to the student population.
Due to the round-style structures of the school proving costly to maintain and needing frequent roof work to stop and prevent water leaks; the Franklin County school board and County Commission reached an agreement to demolish and replace South Middle and North Middle with new facilities. Beginning in 2018, the demolition and new construction process began, while renovating the original gym. Construction of the new school was complete in the summer of 2020 and classes began in August.
SMS offers a middle school program for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students which consists of instruction in the following areas: English/language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies. Students are also exposed to an extensive related arts rotation including keyboarding, physical education, fine arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), exploratory, media arts, health and wellness and may also participate in band year-round.